The most dramatic projections include an 82% loss of “Spring snowpack” in the area that includes Telluride ski resort by 2085, whilst Eagle County, home of Vail and Beaver Creek could be down 57%. Most other major resorts including Breckenridge, Crested Butte and Steamboat could lose 50% of their snow cover, whilst Aspen – one of the resorts that is most actively publicising the threat of global warming to the ski industry – could see a 43% loss.
The 2006 Colorado College State of the Rockies Report Card suggests that rising temperatures will mean more precipitation falls as rain rather the snow making winter sports ‘no longer economically viable’ by 2050. The Report projects temperature increases of 7-10 degrees Celsius during the summer if the current rates of population expansion and development continue using conventional fuel. This would result in most areas losing at least half their snowpack the Report projects. If energy use switches to gas, seen as the least environmentally damaging fossil fuel as an interim measure before power is switched to renewable energy, the Report projects temperature rises of 1-5 degrees Celsius with half of snow areas losing 50 percent of their snowpack.